Why I'll never own an Android-based anything

I struggled for months before purchasing my iPhone and iPad--even turned down a chance at the iPad soon after launch but now am an avid Apple fan.
Written by Ken Hess, Contributor

Sup, Android fans? Sorry that I can't be one of you but I just can't bring myself to do it. Not yet, at least. Tell me, what Android-based thingy can I buy that will surpass the coolness of my iOS-based iPhone 4 or my iPad? If there is one, please tell me about it. Or, better yet, someone should send me one for "evaluation." I'd prefer an Android-based tablet but I haven't found one yet that I like but I've only seen a small sample of them.

I love Linux and I really wanted an Android-based device early on but the ones I saw were really, really bad. The other problem was that no one knew anything about them at the stores I went to. In fact, at one store whose name I won't mention, the employees not only had no clue what the heck I was talking about, they had no idea where they were in the store.

Needless to say, I was justifiably irritated. I didn't blame the employees but I was angry at the basic ignorance perpetuated by the store's policy of not training its employees.

They did, however, know exactly where all of the Apple stuff was in the store. So, I guess I can't say they're 100 percent neglectful. Either that or the employees just liked the Apple stuff better. Nah, that could never happen.

I did finally locate two or three Android tablets but they paled in comparison to the far more expensive iPad. Yes, Apple gadgetry isn't cheap but Apple knows that it doesn't have to be.

I searched for an Android-based phone and tablet but never found one that got me excited. So, my wife, seeing and listening to my frustration, bought me an original iPad for Father's Day, soon after it launched. I turned it down because I thought I should stay true to my Linux-rooted prejudice. If you're married, you probably know how well things went for me after doing that.

But, months after searching, testing and even asking Jason Perlow about his experiences with Android stuff, I had to choose an iPad. I got one for Christmas just two or three months ahead of the launch of the iPad 2. And, no, I couldn't wait any longer. I was a fool for waiting the first time.

I wanted a Linux tablet. I still do. I just don't know if Android is the right answer for it. At some point, I'll probably buy an old Acer tablet and install Linux on it. By the time I buy one from a certain unmentionable auction site, the OS I'll use will be Ubuntu 13.04. I want it to work, after all. I also want it to work without a lot of tweaking or futzing around. Like Apple users, I just want the blasted thing to work. Frankly, I'm tired of being everyone's tech support guy--even my own.

So, that's the true test of a new gadget or new computer for me: Does it just work?

If not, you'll hear about it.

Some of the major complaints I've heard about Android are:

  • Poor multitasking.
  • Less than stellar battery life.
  • Bugs. Lots of bugs.
  • Bad reception.
  • Bluetooth problems.
  • Unresponsive or very slow performance.
  • Camera problems.
  • Phone call drop issues.

I thought that the idea of Android was cool, when I first heard of it. I thought the price was right for an Android-based tablet ($79 to $500). And, I thought that Android would be a good competitive platform.

Unfortunately, I was wrong on all counts. It is affordable but if you can't use the device because of the problems listed, then the money you saved by not buying Apple is wasted by having to rebuy another Android device. My time and frustration are worth something. I don't want to spend either being frustrated and wishing I'd bought Apple. So, I did buy Apple. And, I paid a lot more than I could actually afford to on the technology but, I'd have to say that, other than dealing with the (ongoing) sticker shock, I'm very happy with my Apple stuff.

Sorry, Android, I'll never own anything that you occupy unless someone gives me one and I'm not holding my breath waiting for that unlikely occurrence.

See Also:

Dear Google: Android's Multitasking Sucks

On Tablets, Android 4.0 is an Ice Cream Headache

If Android "Feels Wrong" then I don't want to be right

The Android sloppy interface: When guidelines are not enough

Why Ice Cream Sandwich won't be able to save Android tablets

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